In Nature Evolving and similar late works, the “other energies” that Macdonald sought to represent are revealed in exquisite harmonies of colour and form. The surging shapes and variegated colours suggest growth and life, likely inspired by the slides of microscopic specimens from nature that Macdonald used in his teaching to illustrate the elemental patterns and rhythms in nature.
The work represents Macdonald’s continuing quest for a meaningful contemporary artistic expression. He sought to convey not “the exact appearance of nature, but rather . . . the spirit therein.” The search he began in 1934 with Formative Colour Activity had finally come to fruition.